It’s been pretty quite over here. It hasn’t been intentional. Sometimes the fog drops so low that I cannot make my fingers type out the words in my head. Sometimes I crave space, and time. Sometimes I simply cannot imagine writing it at all.
Time to come in, out of the dark.
Last week something pretty wonderful happened. I was shortlisted for the Seraphine Mums Voice award in the Tommy’s baby awards. I’ll be attending the ceremony in March, along with wonderful friends Jenny and Leigh. To be a finalist in these awards has made me realise that this is not over. How can it be, when so many women and their families are still suffering the same as me, still sitting in the dark?
I’ve always been honest about my experiences. I’ve written about birth trauma, HG and IUGR because I needed to. I needed to share, to lessen the load. But it’s different now. Because in sharing I found I was helping, if only in a small way.
You are not alone.
You are not going crazy.
You do deserve answers.
In 2015 I helped to support the #MatExp campaign. I agreed to co-admin the Facebook group and I’ve been part of the impressive 300,000,000+ Twitter impressions so far. I set up the IUGR support group UK Facebook group. I helped set up and run the #BirthTraumaChat with Emma every Monday. I volunteer as news co-or donator for the MAMA Academy. I set up and ran a mini campaign #IUGRawarenessUK and #12daysofIUGR in November, during the 12 days running up to Elsie’s due date. I adopted December as #BirthTraumaAwareness month.
All of this has been huge in helping me to adjust to the new me.
And there is more to come. The Child Growth Foundation has been in touch and we are discussing working together on exciting projects. #MatExp and #BirthTraumaChat both continue to grow in strength, beyond anyone’s initial expectations. Jenny, Chelle and I also have lots of plans for Maternity Matters too.
And yet the darkness still comes, sometimes. I am doing all of this for one reason only: so that others may not drop into the darkness like me. So that families are supported. So that maternity experiences can be different.
I am not alone. I have a team all around me, and maybe you are one of them. And if I am not alone, then you are not either.